AMSTERDAM (LifeSiteNews) — A petition launched against the vaccine passport in the Netherlands has received over 500,000 signatures in just three days and could reach the million mark this week.
The petition was launched Friday by a coalition of Dutch politicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs who oppose the COVID vaccine passport. Appealing to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet, the authors called for the immediate abolition of the measure and the reopening of society in a manifesto entitled “undivided and open.”
“We call on the Cabinet and parliament to abolish coronavirus passes effective immediately,” the authors said in the manifesto. “The harm it causes is disproportionate to any public health benefits it may have.”
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the petition had already received over 160,000 signatures according to Dutch television channel NOS. On Sunday evening at around 9:30 p.m., it reached the half a million mark, and to date it has received over 723,000 signatures.
Traffic on the website petitie.nl, which is hosting the petition, was so heavy this weekend that the webpage frequently crashed.
“The speed with which the petition has grown is a record,” said Reinder Rustema, the manager of the website.
Rustema explained that if the number of signatures continues to grow at the same rate of 15,000 per hour, it could reach the million mark before the end of the week.
The authors of the petition and the manifesto argued that “now that the coronavirus is becoming endemic, COVID passports should not have any place in the ‘toolbox’ of a free democracy.”
They went on to call the COVID passport a “violation of fundamental rights” that is “not necessary, let alone proportionate.”
Among the launchers of the petition was Mona Keijzer, former State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in the Netherlands.
In September of last year, Keijzer was dismissed from her cabinet position after publicly opposing COVID-19 restrictions, including the vaccine passport. This was a first time since World War II that a Dutch politician was dismissed from cabinet without resigning.
In the Netherlands, the vaccine passport is usually issued as a QR code on an app that indicates whether someone is either “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, has recently recovered from the disease. or has tested negative in the past 24 hours.
Similar to other western European countries such as France and Germany, the passport is necessary to access certain venues and premises such as restaurants, cafés, and museums.